Alex Neil has mentioned in the past that he wants more experience in his Preston side – and he’s reiterated that desire.
North End have made just the one signing this summer, bringing in defender Patrick Bauer. Bauer may have been a free transfer from Charlton, but he ticked the boxes.
He’s 26, he’s coming off a great season, he’s played in the Championship before, and he can solve height problems in defence. Bauer looks to be an impressive first signing, but there has been no more movement.
Some fans are getting a little twitchy at the lack of activity. Neil did though suggest that it would take a little more time this summer. North End are aiming higher this time around, looking for more experienced signings to bring in.
That may still include signings like Brad Potts, players who have played in the Championship. Signings over the last year – Andrew Hughes, Jordan Storey, Ryan Ledson, Graham Burke, Lukas Nmecha, Jayden Stockley and Josh Ginnelly – had never played Championship football before arriving.
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Now, Neil has reiterated his desire – this time on the club’s official website. He’s suggested that he wants ‘a little bit more experience’ and know how in his side, aiding the playoff hopes.
“Something we spoke about in the summer is the fact we have recruited a lot of younger players in the last couple of seasons and our average age has come down considerably and I think now we need top it up with a little bit more experience, a little bit more know how and hopefully that should help us this season,” said Neil.
North End must now deliver on that desire. We managed to keep Neil with a new three-year deal in April, fending off West Bromwich Albion.
That hard work will go to waste if Neil isn’t backed properly this summer. Neil will have a burning desire to return to the Premier League, ideally with a North End side he’s built well.
He just needs that little bit extra, which will require patience and an increase in spending. The coming weeks will show what North End’s ambition really is, and whether Neil’s repeated request for experienced signings is actually fulfilled.